April 18, 2019 / 7:26 AM / a year ago

Shanghai stocks retreat from 13-month high on profit-taking

* SSEC -0.4 pct, CSI300 -0.4 pct

* Signs of China economic stabilisation largely priced in

* China stocks still have room to rise - Value Partners

SHANGHAI, April 18 (Reuters) - Shanghai stocks retreated from a 13-month closing high to end lower on Thursday, as investors locked in gains following a strong rally underpinned by signs of an economic rebound.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.4 percent weaker at 4,072.08 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.4 percent lower at 3,250.20 points.

** China’s economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, data showed on Wednesday, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed signs of improvement.

** The stock market, which has priced in economic stabilisation, has surged roughly 30 percent so far this year. However, investors kept a cautious stance as they looked for further clues on the health of the global economy.

** “Stocks have risen a lot this year. However, there’s no need to worry, because it’s just recouping last year’s losses, and we think there’s still room to rise,” said Louis So, co-chief investment officer of Value Partners Group, citing signs of economic recovery, relatively low valuations, and continuous foreign money inflows.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.4 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.84 percent.

** At 0710 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.6966 per U.S. dollar, 0.13 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.688.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Jiangsu Chengxing Phosph-Chemical Co Ltd , up 10.11 percent, followed by China Publishing & Media Holdings Co Ltd, gaining 10.06 percent and Henan Ancai Hi-tech Co Ltd, up by 10.03 percent.

** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Hunan Fangsheng Pharmaceutical Co Ltd down 10.02 percent, followed by Xinjiang Xintai Natural Gas Co Ltd losing 9.16 percent and Sumec Corp Ltd down by 9.07 percent.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index rose 30.3 percent and the CSI300 climbed 35.3 percent, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 16.1 percent. Shanghai stocks gained 5.16 percent this month.

** About 32.55 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 80.3 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 40.55 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 35.75 billion.

** As of 0711 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 26.82 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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